News from EASA’s Members – February 2019

26 February 2019

News from European self-regulation

ARPP (France)

ARPP launches program “first steps as a brand”

After the launch of the “IA and Compliance” Innovation Workshops and the “Influencer Marketing and Transparency” deontology program, ARPP continues to support the digital transformation of the profession by launching a new offer aimed at startups: “FIRST STEP as a Brand “.

As startups promote their product or service to the public, ARPP offers them the “keys” to ensuring their first successful campaign is both legal and ethical.

By helping startups to master compliant advertising from the design stage of their product, ARPP sets itself the ambition of enabling them to:

  • Contribute to the good reception of their product at the time of its launch on the market.
  • Ethically engage with their audience.
  • Provide proof that they master a sometimes complex regulatory environment (especially in FinTech, FoodTech or BioTech).
  • Know how to activate influencers in all transparency.

More info here ( and here ( (in French). unveils three new services

On 6th February, ARPP launched three new services:

  • “Jo”, the ARPP dialogue chat bot;
  • A discount for Click-to-Call VOD campaigns;
  • and an extension of the Express service to certain requests to be examined in the hour.

More info here ( (in French).


UK Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into Disinformation and Fake News

The House of Commons Digital Culture Media and Sort Committee published its final report on its Inquiry into Disinformation and Fake News.  The ASA’s Chief Executive Guy Parker gave evidence to the Inquiry and outlined the ASA’s position on the regulation of political advertising and discussed how the ASA regulates ads online and in social media in the context of the UK Government’s proposed Internet Safety Strategy.

The Committee’s report made a number of recommendations including:

  • Ofcom, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Electoral Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority produce a united strategy in relation to digital literacy;
  • The Government to look at the ways in which the UK law should define digital campaigning, including having agreed definitions of what constitutes online political advertising;
  • Electoral law be changed to reflect changes in campaigning techniques, and the move from physical leaflets and billboards to online, micro targeted political campaigning; and
  • Paid-for political advertising should be publicly accessible, clear and easily recognisable. Recipients should be able to identify the source, who uploaded it, who sponsored it, and its country of origin.

Further information about the Inquiry is available here (

Cairncross Review

Dame Frances Cairncross was appointed by the UK Government to chair the review into the sustainability of high quality journalism in the UK in March 2018.

It’s purpose was to examine and make recommendations relating to:

  • the overall state of the UK news market
  • threats to financial sustainability of the UK news industry
  • the role and impact of digital search engines and social media platforms
  • and the role of digital advertising

While the report doesn’t specifically cover advertising regulation, the Secretary of State for Culture, in his statement to the UK Parliament said:

“I also recognise that online advertising has given rise to a wider set of social and economic challenges.  My department will therefore conduct a review on how online advertising is regulated.”

The ASA will be engaging with the Government on their review into online ad regulation. Further information about the Cairncross Review is available here (

Children’s Exposure to TV ads for Age-restricted Products

The ASA published its first report on children’s exposure to age-restricted TV ads for alcohol, gambling and food and soft drinks products that are high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS products).  The report seeks to inform debate on the effectiveness and the proportionality of the broadcast advertising scheduling rules in directing these ads away from programming that is of particular appeal to children, and provides policy-makers with a clearer picture of children’s exposure to those ads.

Data from 2017, the latest year covered by the report, shows that children, on average, see 161.2 TV ads per week, of which:

  • One is for an alcohol product;
  • 2.8 are for gambling products; and
  • 9.6 are for HFSS products

Children’s exposure to all TV ads peaked in 2013 (229.3 ads per week) and declined, year-on-year, to 161.2 ads per week in 2017; a reduction of 29.7%.  Over the same period, children’s exposure to:

  • TV ads for alcohol decreased by 62.5%;
  • TV ads for gambling decreased by 37.3%;
  • TV ads for food and soft drink decreased by 45.5%

The report looked at children’s exposure to HFSS ads in 2016 and 2017.  Between these years, children’s exposure to all TV ads reduced by 15.6%, whereas children’s exposure to TV ads for HFSS products reduced by 22.9%.

The ASA intends to publish an exposure report annually and it is currently in the course of gathering information on children’s exposure to age-restricted ads in online media.

More information is available here (

Gambling and Children Guidance

The Committees of Advertising Practice published new standards to protect children and young people from irresponsible gambling ads.  This follows a review of the evidence on advertising’s impact on under-18s and rulings by the ASA.

The evidence suggests that exposure to gambling ads that comply with the UK’s Advertising Codes is, of itself, unlikely to harm under-18s.  Targeted restrictions are still required, however, to address the potential risks associated with irresponsible advertising.  While the advertising rules don’t need to change, CAP has introduced new standards to strengthen how they apply in practice.

In particular, the standards provide examples of scenarios to help advertisers understand what they need to do to target ads away from under-18s.  For example, gambling operators must use all the tools available to them on a social network platform to prevent targeting their ads at under-18s.  This includes both ad targeting facilities provided directly by the platform based, on their platform users’ interests and browsing behaviour, and tools that restrict under-18s’ access to marketers’ own social media content.  Also, gambling operators should take particular care to avoid placing their ads on parts of websites of particular appeal to under-18s e.g. a football club’s website might have a strongly adult audience in general, but it would be inappropriate to place gambling ads in pages dedicated to younger supporters.

Further information on the guidance is available here (

Content Discovery Networks project

In January, the ASA announced ( the outcome of a 2018 project looking into Content Discovery Networks (CDNs), which are responsible for the ubiquitous ad panels recommending native style content “From around the web” seen on many popular news and other editorial sites. The project followed on from similar work carried out by the French ad regulator, the ARPP, who the ASA met with at the start of this project.

A monitoring exercise found that levels of compliance for CDN ads in the UK were generally good, although some areas where there was potential to mislead were identified. Labelling and unclear identification of the ads was a potential area of concern, given the editorial (or ‘native’) style of many of the ads.  An ASA project ( on the labelling and recognition of online ads is currently ongoing and will report later in the year.

As well as carrying out the monitoring exercise, ASA also established new lines of communication and on-going relationships with the major CDNs operating within the UK.  The ASA will continue to seek to work more closely with online ad networks, including CDNs, to help ensure online advertising is effectively regulated.

ASA dips a toe into podcasting

The ASA is always thinking about how best to engage with the audiences ASA has, whether they are consumers, advertisers or other stakeholders. The ASA has a wealth of interesting rulings, insightful lessons and useful advice that the ASA is always keen to share.  A recent initiative has been to set up an ‘ASA Rulings Podcast’.

While podcasts have been around for a little while now, it’s still a novel endeavour for the ASA. The ASA has had some technological trials to overcome in its first ‘episodes’ but the ASA is really pleased with the results.  Hundreds of people have downloaded or listened to the ASA staff discussing fascinating cases they have worked on, with topics ranging from social media influencers and unhealthy foods, through to animal rights and dating websites.

The ASA is still testing how to format the podcasts, and how frequently to produce them, but it’s an exciting new way to share with both the industry and public more about the work the ASA does.  Keep an eye (and an ear) out for the next one, by following our SoundCloud at


AUTOCONTROL developed intense activity in the field of Data Protection related to advertising during 2018

The application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 and the approval, in December, of the new Data Protection and Guarantee of Digital Rights Law (LOPDGDD), were two of the most important challenges faced by the advertising industry in recent times. The adaptation of advertising activities, mainly online, to the new rules of data protection and privacy is key to maintaining consumer confidence.

For this reason, AUTOCONTROL developed during the last year an intense activity of information, training, and advice to help companies meet their obligations in relation to the GDPR, while establishing a new streamlined, effective and free way for consumers to solve their claims on data protection related to telecommunications companies.

In advance of the application of the law, at the beginning of 2018 AUTOCONTROL elaborated and distributed a Practical Guide to Adaptation to the GDPR, for the advertising sector, which was sent over 3,500 professionals in the industry and available for free download in the Association’s website.

At the same time, during 2018 AUTOCONTROL organised 15 training activities, where the scope and impact in practice of the application of the GDPR  and the new LOPDGDD, were analyzed. More than 500 professionals from many different sectors attended these courses. For the current year 2019, AUTOCONTROL has already scheduled four new practical workshops and one Seminar on the new Organic Data Protection and Digital Rights Guarantee Law, taking place next on 27th February .

These informative and training activities were supplemented with the settlement of a new advisory service to companies, named Data Advice®, launched in January 2018, which added to the Cookie Advice® service provided since 2013. These two services registered more than 300 queries and requests from companies, during 2018.

Lastly, a voluntary mediation system in the field of telecommunications was launched last year, with the participation of MÁSMÓVIL, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone, and developed in collaboration with the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD). This system, managed by AUTOCONTROL, is aimed to solve in a free and agile way, through mediation, consumer complaints regarding data protection such as reception of unwanted advertising, identity theft or data processing for reception of invoices after having requested the withdrawal of the service, among others. This service received about 1,000 queries and 255 requests for mediation in 2018.

The General Director of Consumer, of the Ministery for Health and Consumer, opened the First edition of the Higher Course in Advertising Law of AUTOCONTROL

The first edition of the Advertising Law Higher Course was opened on 1st February by the General Director of Consumer, Mr. Nelson Castro. During his speech he remarked the importance of this initiative for the industry. He also pointed out the increased relevance that self-regulation has gained in the Spanish advertising market and the importance of the collaboration between the Spanish Government and AUTOCONTROL, working together for improving consumer protection.

The course will be held during five weekends between that date and 2nd March 2019 with a total of 38 teaching hours. This is the first course of its kind in Spain and aims to provide a complete overview of the regulation and self-regulation of advertising in Spain, as well as promoting networking in this area.

IAP (Italy)

The new Archive of Adjudications is online

On 11th February, IAP launched a new online database ( containing all the formal adjudications from 1966 to present day, with real-time updates. This new tool makes it easier to locate a case crossing different parameters, for instance, violated article, party name, claim or keywords/full text searching. This new tool greatly simplifies the identification of adjudications and allows users to login through different devices. The database is available through a subscription, free for the first 30 days.

“Worth of Self-Regulation”: an overview on IAP

A new page ( on IAP’s website has launched to highlight positive aspects of being part of the self-regulation system, both for the consumers and for the industry.

RAC (Romania)

2019 marks 20 years of advertising self-regulation in Romania!

In 2019, RAC celebrates 20 years since it was set up and thus 20 years of advertising self-regulation in Romania!

RAC will be organising an anniversary Gala event in September. Further details on the Agenda of the event shall be available soon.

SLK/CSL (Switzerland)

The Swiss Commission for Fairness in Commercial Communication releases revised rules and regulations

SLK/CSL is delighted to announce it has released its revised rules and regulations. Press release and direct links to the new documents in German and French can be found in the following links:



SRC (Netherlands)

New and amended advertising codes

As of 1 February 2019, the Code for Advertising Health Products (CAG) is part of the Dutch Advertising Code. In connection with this, several changes have been made to the Code for Advertising Medicine to the General Public (CPG) and the Advertising Code for Self-Care Medical Products (CMH).

An amendment has also been included in the Advertising Code for Food products (RVV), which restricts advertising aimed at children and restricts the use of children’s idols.

An English translation of the new and amended codes will be available soon on SRC’s website:

Wettbewerbszentrale (Germany)

Wettbewerbszentrale to hold Annual Press Conference on 12 March 2019 in Frankfurt

Wettbewerbszentrale’s yearly press conference will take place on 12 March in Frankfurt, to inform the public of its activities taken in 2018. For more information, please see press release here ( (in German).

News from our European ad industry members

IAB Europe

Interact, Warsaw, 4-5 June 2019

Interact is IAB Europe’s flagship annual event. It’s a must-attend event for the digital advertising industry. For over 12 years, leading European advertisers, industry experts, agencies & media owners get inspired, meet & share best practices.

Registration is NOW open here (

World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)

WFA’s Global Marketer Week 2019 in Lisbon

Join WFA in Lisbon for the annual event for global marketers from 26-29 March 2019

For the first time since 2013, Global Marketer Week returns to Europe for yet another unmissable week of inspiration, discovery and learning. Speaking at the week’s flagship event, the Global Marketer Conference, are some of the industry’s leading lights, including Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar, Airbnb’s Geoff Seeley, Diageo’s Syl Saller and Unilever’s Keith Weed, with more speakers to be announced soon.

WFA members can derive additional value from the concurrent events taking place on 27 March for media, marketing procurement, integrated marketing communications and policy specialists. A Project Reconnect (now Better Marketing) session will take place on the same day.

This year’s conference promises to be the most senior client-led event of its kind in the world – and together with all the week’s events, a must-attend for all global marketing leaders.  So join some of the industry’s leading lights and network with the world’s top marketers in Lisbon! For the full agenda see here (